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Title IX Policy

Title IX (1972) protects students from gender bias in educational environments. The 2013 reauthorization of Title IX expands the definitions of gender bias, to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence and stalking, and the expectations of colleges and universities handling gender bias incidents. COA is dedicated to providing an educational and work environment that is free from sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence and stalking. As part of COA’s efforts to fully comply with the Title IX law, all employees of the college are mandated to report to the Title IX Coordinator any known or suspected violations of Title IX.

If you wish to report a Title IX violation, please contact Joseph Turner, Title IX Coordinator, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2211. You may also contact:

  • Lynn Hurdle-Winslow, Assistant Title IX Coordinator, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2251;
  • Dennis Smith, Director, Campus Safety and Security, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2228;
  • Kelvin Brown, Title IX Investigator, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2243;
  • Don Harris, Title IX Investigator, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2320;
  • Pauline Younger, Title IX Liaison, at 252-335-0821 ext. 2277; or
  • Campus Security:
    • Dare County Campus: 252-216-6354
    • Edenton-Chowan Campus: 252-722-2429
    • Elizabeth City Campus: 252-312-3905
    • Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center: 252-435-7804
  1. Sexual harassment is defined as any unsolicited, offensive behavior that uses sexuality to disadvantage another, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    1. Submission to sexual harassment is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic admission or advancement; or
    2. Submission to or rejection of sexual harassment is used as the basis (orthreatened to be used as the basis) for employment actions or academic decisions or evaluations; or
    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.
  2. Sexual Violence: A form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX. It is defined as any physical sexual act perpetuated against a person’s will or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
  3. Domestic Violence: The term domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, or who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
  4. Dating Violence: The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  5. Stalking: The term stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
    1. fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or
    2. suffer substantial emotional distress.

    Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Non-consensual (unwanted) communication or contact (face-to-face, telephone, touching, electronic mail, instant messaging, texts, written letters, unwanted gifts, etc.)
    2. Harassment, either by the individual or through a third party
    3. Use of threatening gestures
    4. Pursuing or following
    5. Surveillance or other types of observation
    6. Trespassing
    7. Stalking also includes cyber-stalking, which is the use of electronic or digital media to stalk an individual and results in fear or substantial emotional distress as delineated in items i and ii above
Anyone who experiences or observes an emergency situation should call 911 immediately and then call campus security.

Dare County Campus: 252-216-6354
Edenton-Chowan Campus: 252-722-2429
Elizabeth City Campus: 252-312-3905
Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center: 252-435-7804

An emergency is defined as any situation, in the judgment of the individual, which urgent medical treatment or law enforcement assistance is needed because the crime is in progress or very recent. In the event of an emergency, the investigatory procedures for handling sexual assault by the local authorities will apply.

Reporting Options

Anyone in the College of The Albemarle community who in their judgment believes that they have been subjected to, or is aware of someone else being subjected to, sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking is encouraged to immediately report the incident to one of the following College representatives: immediate supervisor, Title IX Coordinator, Chief Operations Officer; Deputy Title IX Coordinator, VP Student Success and Enrollment Management, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, or Campus Security Services.

The complainant is encouraged to complete a Maxient Incident Report Form. The written complaint will be automatically submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.

Any College representative who receives a complaint of sexual misconduct is expected to immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator.

Any College representative receiving a report of the initial incident should document details and contact the Title IX Coordinator, who is required to maintain records of such incidents for the purpose of reporting campus crime statistics. A complainant will be informed of their right to notify law enforcement officials and will be assisted in doing so if they so choose. A complainant may also decline to notify such authorities. Note: In an effort to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct, the College will not bring charges against complainants if they are involved with collateral alcohol and/or other nonviolent violations of campus policy.

Confidentiality

The College will protect the confidentiality of the complainant to the extent permissible by law. If the complainant requests to remain anonymous, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond consistent with the request, recognizing that the College’s ability to respond may be limited. Often a person reporting or otherwise concerned about sexual misconduct wants a discussion to be confidential or off the record. Confidential discussions about sexual misconduct may be available from off-campus persons who, by law, have special professional status, such as, attorneys, clergy, medical personnel, and counselors in Sexual Assault Services.

As an immediate priority, care will be taken to ensure the safety and well being of the complainant, and to exercise all precautionary measures to prevent a repeat of the alleged sexual misconduct. Complainants will be provided information about appropriate college or local area resources, including law enforcement, legal services, medical services, and counseling and victim advocacy/support. Complainants will be informed in writing about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and working situations if requested and if reasonably available. Complainants will be advised of the importance of preserving evidence that may be necessary to prove sexual assault.

Interim Actions

The College will take interim actions necessary to protect the complainant and prevent retaliation pending the investigation. Interim actions may include changes in academic or work situations, orders directing the complainant and respondent to avoid contact with one another, or any other appropriate measures.

Due Process

The due process rights of both the complainant and the respondent will be protected. Both parties will receive written notification of their rights. Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to have an advisor of their choosing present during any meeting or proceeding related to the investigation. An advisor can be anyone chosen by the complainant and/or the respondent to provide advice and/or support through the investigation and hearing process. The advisor may be present at all stages of the investigation and hearing, but is not allowed to actively participate. The advisor can be the eyes and ears of the complainant at the investigation and hearing when the complainant does not feel comfortable in the presence of the respondent.

  1. Written Notification: Within ten working days of receipt of a sexual misconduct complaint, the respondent must be given written notice of an alleged violation that would enable a reasonable person to recognize that the charge is consistent with the definition of the prohibited behavior as it appears in this policy.
  2. Opportunity to Be Heard: The respondent must be given the opportunity to hear the evidence against him/her and to present his/her side of the alleged incident.
  1. Investigating a Complaint: The College will conduct a prompt, fair and impartial investigation into complaints of sexual misconduct, whether or not there is also a law enforcement investigation. Complaints will be investigated by College representatives who have been trained on issues related to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and Title IX. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct and document an initial inquiry to determine whether there is reasonable cause to conduct a full investigation. Within ten working days, the Title IX Coordinator will either decide to proceed with a full Title IX investigation, pass the complaint forward as a non-Title IX violation or close the complaint with no further action. This decision is not appealable.
     
    If it is found that there is reasonable cause to proceed, the Title IX Coordinator will provide guidance on conducting the investigation. The investigators may receive evidence from both the respondent and the complainant, and any witnesses identified by either party. The complainant’s prior sexual history will be excluded from the investigation and college proceedings. This investigation will be completed within 60 calendar days after receipt of the complaint. Where the allegations are complex or other factors delay the investigative process, an extension may be granted. The existence of criminal proceedings will not necessarily delay or interrupt the procedures outlined in this policy, unless the law enforcement agency or prosecution requests that the College procedures be suspended, in which case the College will determine whether and for how long to suspend its procedures. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigators will make a report with recommendations. The report shall describe the investigation and all relevant evidence obtained in it; provide support for the conclusions drawn by the investigators; and make recommendations for sanctions or other remedial action as appropriate. The investigators shall arrive at their conclusions based on a preponderance of evidence, meaning whether it is more likely or not that this policy was violated.

    • When the respondent is a student: When a decision has been reached as to whether or not a Title IX violation has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the complaint, the findings of the investigation, and recommendations to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, VP of Student Success and Enrollment Management. Both the complainant and respondent will be notified of the outcome of the investigation and the procedures for processing the complaint.
    • When the respondent is an employee: When a decision has been reached as to whether or not a Title IX violation has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the complaint, the findings of the investigation, and recommendations to the Director of Human Resources. Both the complainant and respondent will be notified of the outcome of the investigation and the procedures for processing the complaint.
  2. Processing Complaints: In select cases, informal actions can be taken that will effectively stop the misconduct. The following conditions must be satisfied for an informal resolution process to be initiated:
    • The Title IX Coordinator must have reviewed the matter to the extent necessary to confirm that it is of the type that would be appropriate for an informal resolution process and must have concluded, in consultation with appropriate college employees, that use of an informal resolution process would be consistent with the college’s legal obligations under Title IX or otherwise;
    • Participating parties must have voluntarily elected to pursue an informal resolution process without pressure or compulsion from others and must have been advised that they may withdraw from the process at any time;
    • Respondent must acknowledge the substance of the underlying events and that the Complainant and other affected parties have reported experiencing harm as a result; and
    • Individuals who wish to participate in an informal resolution process must have successfully completed preparatory meetings with appropriate staff. The complainant may choose to resolve the complaint informally, except that informal processes are not appropriate for cases involving alleged sexual assault. At any time the complainant may choose to end the informal process in favor of the formal process. Both informal and formal processes are identified in Policy 2-26, Unlawful Harassment Policy and Procedures, “Procedures.”

As sexual misconduct is a specific form of unlawful harassment, outlined in Policy 2-26, Unlawful Harassment Policy and Procedures, the procedures for resolving Title IX, sexual misconduct complaints will follow the guidelines found in Policy 2-26, Unlawful Harassment Policy and Procedures, Section titled “Procedures.” There is both an informal and formal process. However, the informal process is not appropriate for cases of alleged sexual assault. Also, the complainant may, at any point in the informal process, ask to have the incident formally processed.

Upon a finding of sexual misconduct, disciplinary action will take into account the nature and severity of the violation. More than one disciplinary action may be taken.

Disciplinary actions that may be taken include, but are not limited to, admonitions, probation, suspension, dismissal from the College and/or termination from employment.

In addition, the College may take protective measures as appropriate, including no-contact orders, trespass notices, or other protective measures. The College will assist the complainant in changing academic and work situations if requested and if reasonably available. Campus Security will enforce court-ordered no-contact, restraining or protective orders to the fullest extent of the law.

NOTE: If you have a court ordered protective order, please provide a copy to Campus Security and the Title IX Coordinator.

Record Keeping

Records of investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by students will be maintained by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, VP Student Success and Enrollment Management. Records of investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by employees, contractors, or visitors will be maintained by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources.

If an assault does occur, you should:

  1. Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  2. Call 911 and then call campus security at
    • Dare County Campus: 252-216-6354
    • Edenton-Chowan Campus: 252-722-2429
    • Elizabeth City Campus: 252-312-3905
    • Regional Aviation Technical Training Center: 252-435-7804
  3. College faculty and staff members can also assist you in reporting the incident.
    • Try to preserve physical evidence. Do not bathe or change clothes.
    • Get medical attention as soon as possible.
    • Contact someone to stay with you and support you. Consider contacting the regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence hotline for hospital accompaniment and for information and support.

Victims’ Rights Provisions

Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at College of The Albemarle. Reports of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking are taken seriously. It is important to the College that victims (complainants) are informed, protected, and respected. The following rights are afforded to any College student, staff, or faculty member who experiences such an incident. It is our hope that these rights will provide you with adequate information from which to choose your options.

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY. Above all, confidentiality of victims must be protected. Identifying information of a victim will be protected as much as possible. This means that a victim’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without her/his permission. When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not she/he participates in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. For absolute confidentiality, refer to the resource list provided at the end of this policy.
  2. TIMELY WARNINGS. Any timely warning that is broadcast through the College’s Mass Notification, the College’s websites or emails for the safety of our community will not identify a victim by name.
  3. REPORTING OPTIONS. It is your choice whether or not you decide to report your victimization. At College of The Albemarle, there are several offices to report an incident if you choose to do so. See list at bottom of this policy.
  4. NO CONTACT or PROTECTIVE ORDERS. The College will honor any protective order that you may have acquired through the local courts. Please bring a copy of such a court order to Campus Security for their information and enforcement. In addition, a College administrative no contact order may be created by the Title IX Coordinator once the incident is reported to that office.
  5. PRESERVING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. If you are considering a criminal prosecution, it is extremely important to preserve all evidence of an assault. If you go to a hospital as a result of a penetrating sexual assault, you are entitled to a free evidence collection examination called a SANE exam. SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The nurse will collect the evidence and ask the police in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to pick it up and store it for at least six months. The evidence will be in a box marked only with a number, not your name. You are not required to make an official police report for this evidence to be collected. If you later decide to make such a report, the hospital will give your name to the police and the evidence kit will be tested for possible use in a court case.
  6. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS. If you are a student and your respondent was also a student, then you may choose to report the incident (as the complainant) to the VP of Student Success and Enrollment Management to begin a Title IX investigation. Additionally, you may also choose to contact Campus Security to use this process or to begin a criminal investigation. This is not a criminal investigation; you may or may not choose to contact the police to file criminal charges. An investigation will be conducted on campus to determine whether the respondent is responsible for the act that you have reported. Sanctions for this process are confined to the College only and range from probation to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident.
  7. EMPLOYEE CONDUCT PROCESS. If you are an employee, then you may choose to report the incident to the College’s Director of Human Resources. Additionally, you may also choose to contact Campus Security to use this process or to begin a criminal investigation.
  8. REQUESTS FOR CHANGES. You may request a change in academic setting (class or campus) or work assignment in order to be more clearly separated from the accused perpetrator. Such a request will be granted to the greatest extent possible. These requests should be made to the VP of Student Success and Enrollment Management or Title IX Coordinator (if you are a student) or the Director of Human Resources or Title IX Coordinator (if you are an employee). Requested changes will be made as soon as alternative arrangements can reasonably be made and regardless of whether you choose to pursue an investigation into your incident.
  9. FAIR AND IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION. You can expect a fair and just process as your complaint is handled, through the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
  10. RETALIATION CONCERNS. Threats, intimidation, and any form of retaliation for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct are prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as Federal law and may be grounds for disciplinary action. If any retaliation occurs, it is important to contact the Title IX Coordinator, VP, Student Success and Enrollment Management or the Director of Human Resources.
  11. COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Since College of The Albemarle does not offer mental health counseling to students or employees, it is important to be aware of community resources that are both free and confidential. A list of contact information, including free and confidential counseling, is provided on the last page of this policy.

On-Campus Resources

To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation:

  • If it is an emergency, please call 911
  • Elizabeth City Police Department can be reached at 252-335-4321
  • Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 252-338-2191
  • Edenton Police Department can be reached at 252-482-5144
  • The Chowan Sheriff’s Department can be reached at 252-482-8484
  • The Currituck Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 252-453-8204
  • The Dare County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 252-475-5980
  • The Manteo Police Department can be reached at 252-473-2069

Students or Employees

To report the incident and begin a Title IX investigation contact:

  • Joseph Turner, COO, Title IX Coordinator: Office: EC A128. Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2211
  • Lynn Hurdle-Winslow, VP (SSEM), Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Students): Office; EC AE 121 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2251
  • Wendy Brickhouse, Director, Human Resources, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Employees): Office: EC A104 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2236
  • Dennis Smith, Director, Campus Safety and Security, Title IX Investigator: Office: EC C135 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2228
  • Kelvin Brown, Director, Advising and Student Success, Title IX Investigator: Office: EC AE 111 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2243
  • Don Harris, Security Supervisor, Title IX Investigator: Office: EC C 135 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2320
  • Pauline Younger, Coordinator, Special Populations, Title IX Liaison: Office: EC AE 138 Phone: 252-335-0821 ext. 2277
  • Campus Security
    • Dare County Campus: 252-216-6354
    • Edenton-Chowan Campus: 252-722-2429
    • Elizabeth City Campus: 252-312-3905
    • Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center: 252-435-7804
  • College faculty and staff members can also assist you in reporting the incident.
  • You may also file a report online with the Maxient Incident Report.

Off-Campus Resources

  • Albemarle Hopeline Hopeline can be reached at 252-338-5338.
  • The rape crisis hotline can be reached at 252-338-3011.
  • Clerk of Court Office, Elizabeth City The Clerk of Court Office can be reached at 252-331-4756.
  • District Attorney’s Office The Office of the District Attorney (First Prosecutorial District) can be reached at 252-331-4530.
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina Legal Aid’s closest office is located in Ahoskie, NC, and can be reached at 252- 332-5124.
  • NCCASA, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault NC-CASA can be reached at 919-871-1015.
  • Pasquotank County Magistrates Pasquotank County Magistrates can be reached at 252-331-4599.
  • Pasquotank Department of Social Services Pasquotank’s Department of Social Service can be reached at 252-338-2126.
  • Sentara Albemarle Medical Center Sentara Albemarle Medical Center’s can be reached at 252-335-0531.
  • Hotline Resources
    • Albemarle Hopeline (24-hour rape crisis hotline) 252-338-3011
    • National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (24-hour hour violence prevention hotline; dedicated to LGBTQ individuals) 212-714-1141
    • National Dating Abuse Helpline (24-hour peer advocate dating abuse hotline) 1- 866-331-9474
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline (24-hour hotline) 1-800-799-7233
    • One Love MyPlan App (tool for determining whether a relationship is unhealthy and for safety planning) Available for free download in iTunes App Store and Google Play

Amnesty for Reports of Sexual Misconduct

  1. For Victims: The College provides amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report to College officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  2. For Those Who Offer Assistance: To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, College pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the VP, SSEM, amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  3. For Those Who Report Serious Violations: Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the College are offered amnesty for their minor violations. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result.

NOTE: Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the VP, SSEM not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.

For sexual misconduct, discrimination and other complaints of a sensitive nature, whether the alleged victim is serving as the party bringing the complaint or as a witness, alternative testimony options may be provided, such as placing a privacy screen in the hearing room or allowing the alleged victim to testify from another room via audio or audio/video technology. While these options are intended to help make the alleged victim more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the accused student.

  1. The past sexual history or sexual character of a victim/complaining party will not be admissible by the other parties in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the panel Chair. All such information sought to be admitted by a party or the College will be presumed irrelevant until a showing of relevance is made, in advance of the hearing, to the Chair. Demonstration of pattern, repeated, and/or predatory behavior by the accused student, in the form of previous findings in any legal or campus proceeding, or in the form of previous good faith allegations, will always be relevant to the finding, not just the sanction. The parties will be notified in advance if any such information is deemed relevant and will be introduced in the hearing.
  2. The party bringing any complaint alleging sexual misconduct, other behavior falling within the coverage of Title IX and/or a crime of violence will be notified in writing of the outcome of a hearing, any sanctions assigned and the rationale for the decision.